Written by Ronald Scaglia, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 28 December 2012 00:00
After serving in the New York State Assembly for six years, the 17th Assembly District will shift drastically beginning next year. Whereas the district previously went from the western Nassau border to East Meadow, it now extends from East Meadow to the eastern border of Nassau, including a huge portion of Massapequa. Tom McKevitt has represented the district since early in 2006 and will continue to do so with the new boundaries. So does he have any reservations about coming to a new area?
“The biggest thing I’m upset about is that All American is on the other side of Merrick Road,” he says with a chuckle as the popular Massapequa restaurant, which McKevitt brings his family to regularly, is just outside of his district’s boundaries.
Massapequans who patronage the hamburger restaurant may have already met McKevitt. For those who haven’t, he hopes to meet everyone in his newly redefined district soon. He says that he plans on visiting every elementary school within the district and that he wants the people he now represents to know that he has “an open door policy” and that those in his district should bring their issues and concerns to him.
“I really do look out for the interests of the constituents and I don’t bow to the interest groups,” McKevitt says. “I’m really looking out for the people I represent.”
The assemblyman comments that the communities that he will soon be representing are very similar to the communities he has represented for almost seven years, consisting of people who want a good education for their children who are trying to make life as affordable as possible. He says this has been getting more difficult during the past several years.
“The economy has been poor, so people just don’t have as much money,” he remarked. “Health care costs and pension costs have been a great stress on local governments so that creates the issue of taxes. That’s why the tax cap was enacted two years ago but that creates even greater stress on school districts and local governments to provide the basic services.”
Because of this, McKevitt says that one of his most important tasks is to fight in Albany to get as much state aid as possible for his district. He says that is going to become extremely important in the coming years, as the state doesn’t have enough revenue, so communities will be fighting over state aid that may be diminished. In addition, because of the costs in helping the state recover from Sandy, the amount of funds available figures to decrease as more state aid will be going to storm recovery as the Federal Government will not be providing enough money to cover all of the expenses. McKevitt was also hoping that state funds could go to job creation, but once again, the money needed for storm recovery may prohibit that.
“I’m going to fight hard as we always do to provide some needs for rebuilding but we can’t expect people to pay any more taxes,” McKevitt says.
The assemblyman has also been an outspoken critic of the Long Island Power Authority. He said that there is a lot of agreement among colleagues in state government that LIPA, as it exists today, is not a good situation, and that there is a strong possibility that a private utility will be running all of the electrical operations on Long Island. He adds that this needs to be done as soon as possible.
On a personal level, McKevitt and his wife, Samantha, who is a social studies teacher, have two young children. A devoted family man, McKevitt routinely makes a long daily commute back and forth to Albany so he doesn’t spend too much time away from his family. McKevitt says that residents will soon learn that he is someone they can turn to for help.
“Whenever people call for help we never ask for their registration,” he commented. “We’re just there to help. That’s my job.”
Friday, 18 April 2014 00:00
Two hundred business students from high schools across Nassau County, including Massapequa High School, competed for scholarships and cash awards—more than $33,000 in all—from various sponsors at Nassau County’s annual Comptroller’s Entrepreneurial Challenge.
Thursday, 17 April 2014 00:00
The events on Sept. 11, 2001 had a profound effect on nearly all in the tri-state area, but for first responders, the effects were overwhelming. Long-time Massapequa resident Michael Smith, a member of the New York Fire Department, experienced those effects firsthand.
“While I’ve always been a person that could appreciate life, after 9/11 I became so distraught,” he said. “I realized I need to do something I want to do — something I love to do.”
A 30-year veteran of the fire department, Smith retired in 2002. He and his wife of 33 years, Teresa, began to look for a place they could enjoy life. This mindset brought them to the East End of Long Island, where they often went for day trips. They settled down in a home in Orient Point in 2004; in a home that needed quite a bit of work. And when it was time to landscape the property, a new idea took root — a vineyard.
Thursday, 10 April 2014 08:56
Massapequa athletes recently received honors from their coaches at Kellenberg Memorial High School.
Each season, the coaches of all of the Kellenberg teams choose one member of their team who stands out as an athlete that has worked hard to improve themselves in their chosen sport.
Thursday, 03 April 2014 10:19
The Farmingdale State women’s lacrosse team won the first game of their Spring Break trip to North Carolina with a victory over Greensboro College. In wet and muddy conditions, the Rams (8-1) held an 8-5 lead at the half and took the eventual 13-10 win.
In the first half and tied 2-2, the Pride (7-5) pulled ahead 4-2 with two unassisted goals by junior attack Nadya Fedun. Farmingdale State answered with four straight scores for a 6-4 advantage, on goals by juniors Alyssa Handel, Nicole Marzocca and Massapequan Jackie Kennedy.Sophomore attack Ashlynn Parks put Greensboro within a goal at the 7:03 mark, but the Rams scored two more to lead 8-5 at the halftime break.